Sebastian Vettel Q&A: No title tactics for Suzuka 06 Oct 2011
One point separates Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel from his second championship. On Sunday he could walk away from Suzuka the youngest driver to have defended his title. Vettel, of course, is used to superlatives - the youngest to score a point, youngest to win a race, youngest to win the championship - so his simple aim for the Japan weekend is to drive a good race and put on a good show for the fans. If he does that, chances are everything will fall into place...
Q: Sebastian, only one point stands between you and your second title. What could go wrong with this negligible number
Sebastian Vettel: I hope nothing goes wrong! (laughs) But the fact is also that we are not there yet. True, the margin is really small, but still it is there so we better do our best and deliver our best possible performance. And to be honest, the wheel doesnt stop turning after youve reached one goal as there is always a next one. Of course our aim for this weekend is to get the best out of the car. I love this track here - for me it is a very special circuit - so I am really looking forward to driving and racing here. What the result will be in the end we will see. First and foremost we want to put on a good show - and of course we want to win. But that is what we want every time we come to a track.
Q: Will you have any special tactics this weekend?
SV: No, we have only one tactic: to win - and I have to say its worked out pretty well for us. So why change something that has served us so well?
Q: Japan has been hit very hard by nature lately. What can Formula One give the country?
SV: I feel that the people here are very enthusiastic about Formula One - or lets say about motorsport in general. You feel that everywhere you go. And I think this year it is even more so, probably because it gives some hours of excitement away from the daily difficulties. To be part of that gives a lot of joy - and also brings the responsibility to put on a good race.
Q: Has Jenson (Button) been joking with you, advising you to go on a five-race vacation?
SV: No, he didnt. But, honestly, at the moment I am not listening much to what is spoken around me: I concentrate on my job. For sure, I would not want to change places with him. I definitely prefer to walk in my shoes. (laughs)
Q: Last season you rose like a phoenix and won the championship at the death. Now you have such a substantial lead that it is only one point thats missing. How different is the situation now compared to last year?
SV: Of course it is completely different. Going into the last race and being some points behind is a completely different situation to leading the standings by a gap of 124 points. What I try to do is not to listen to all these statistics and simply focus on this race, as I always do with every single race - which has served me well. I have learned from the mistakes that I made in the past and it would be foolish to make them again, so dont wait to see them here. It is not embarrassing making mistakes if you learn from them, but it would be embarrassing making the same mistakes all over again.
Q: To win the title in style, would that mean winning here?
Q: How much fun will it be for you to race on Sunday?
SV: That all depends on where I start from. So qualifying is what will give the answer. But as I just said, I really like to race here so the whole weekend is somewhat joyful for me. And the fans here obviously feel the same: it is only Thursday, but when I was walking the track this morning there were already many fans in the grandstands with flags - different flags, but also some for me - and that is very unusual for a Thursday. I cannot remember having seen that kind of enthusiasm many times before.
Q: Fans are one thing, but results are another
SV: Well, the last two years have delivered dream results here so I hope it will continue on Sunday. (laughs)
Q: We all know by now that only one point separates you from your second title, but has it been more difficult defend the title than it was to win it for the first time last year?
SV: To win a championship, attributes like difficult or easy do not do it justice. A title win is a marathon of races where every single one adds something, but a single race is hardly ever the only ticket to the championship. Winning in general is not an easy task - that goes for a race win and even more so for a championship win. Over a long season you are confronted with many situations, good and bad, and probably the trick is not to get distracted by the not-so-happy ones. Probably the most important thing is to come to every race - no matter what the result of the previous one - with the will to win, to do your own thing and to do your own race. That has served us well and that is exactly what we will do for the last five races, regardless of whether the championship is decided on Sunday.
Q: So what is the secret to your season?
SV: Probably a word that is not at first sight that fancy: consistency. And in this respect we have had a terrific year so far and I hope it will not desert us for the final races.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.